Northern Ireland

HMS Duncan arrives for visit to her adopted city of Belfast

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Media captionHMS Duncan arrives in Belfast: Martin Cassidy reports

The Royal Navy's latest hi-tech warship, HMS Duncan, is making her first visit to Belfast.

She sailed up Belfast Lough on Saturday morning to visit her adopted city.

Over the weekend, the crew has a series of official engagements including work with their charity - the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice.

The gangplank will be down on Sunday for the public to visit, by ticket only from the Visit Belfast Welcome centre in Belfast.

HMS Duncan is affiliated to both Belfast and Dundee. She will serve as an ambassador for Belfast when deployed globally.

"This is our first visit to our adopted city and it is fitting that it is one of our first destinations since being formally accepted into the fleet," said Commander James Stride.

"She has now proved herself at sea and is operating alongside her other five sisters.

"I am hugely proud to be the first commanding officer to bring her to Belfast. My ship's company and I feel extremely privileged to be affiliated to such an historic maritime city."

Destroyers are part of the backbone of the Royal Navy, committed around the world 365 days a year hunting pirates, drug runners or submarines, defending the fleet from air attack and providing humanitarian aid after natural disasters.

HMS Duncan's sister, HMS Daring, has recently been involved in relief operations in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

HMS Duncan is the sixth and last of Britain's six Type 45 destroyers.

Their mission is to shield the fleet from air attack using the state-of-the-art Sea Viper missile system.

The Type 45s can also be used as general-purpose warships; they have huge flight decks to accommodate helicopters up to the size of a Chinook.

There is enough space on board to host a Royal Marines detachment of up to 60 men.

The ship is due to leave Belfast on Tuesday 29 July.

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